The ongoing war between Elon Musk and Twitter continues to rage, as the social media giant attacks the idea that it “tricked” him in the $44 billion (A$63.7 billion) takeover deal.
In a filing, Twitter dismissed counter-claims made by Musk as he struggled to get away from the deal he signed in April to buy the San Francisco-based company.
“According to Musk, Twitter – the billionaire founder of several companies, advised by Wall Street bankers and lawyers – was duped into signing a $44 billion merger agreement,” Twitter said.
“This story is as unbelievable as it sounds.”
Musk last week filed a counterclaim along with a legal defense against Twitter’s claim that the billionaire is contractually obligated to complete the acquisition.
“Counterclaims are a litigation prepared tale that contradicts evidence and common sense,” Twitter argued in the lawsuit.
The Tesla founder is set to take on Twitter in October during a five-day trial period.
If Twitter succeeds in its legal actions, Musk may have to complete the original sale or pay a huge ‘breakup fee’.
Musk took over Twitter’s board of directors with an offer of $54.20 per share, but then in July announced he was terminating their agreement because the company had misled him about counting fake accounts and spam.
Twitter, which saw its share price close at $41.06 on Thursday, stuck to its estimate that less than 5 percent of activity on the platform is due to “bots” rather than people.
Twitter told the court that Musk’s claim that the false account number exceeded 10 percent was “untenable.”
The company also disputed Musk’s assertion that he had the right to walk away from the deal if the number of bots on Twitter turned out to be wrong, because he didn’t ask anything about the bots when he made the bid.
“Musk has foregoed due diligence — giving Twitter 24 hours to accept a ‘take it or leave it’ offer before submitting it directly to Twitter contributors,” the filing said.
The company accused Musk of making up a story to escape a merger agreement he no longer finds attractive.
“Twitter has complied in all respects with the merger agreement,” the company said in the lawsuit filed with Chancery Court in Delaware.
Musk’s counter-claims, which are based on distortion, misinformation and outright deception, change nothing.
The social media platform urged shareholders to approve the deal, setting a vote on the merger on September 13.
“We are committed to closing the merger process on the price and terms agreed with Mr. Musk,” Parag Agrawal, Twitter CEO and Chairman Brett Taylor, said in a letter to investors.
Billions of dollars are at risk, but the future of Twitter, Musk said, should allow any legal speech – an authoritarian stance that has raised concerns that the network could be used to incite violence.
Originally posted on Twitter slams Elon Musk’s allegations that he was “cheated” in a $64 billion deal